- the part of a cargo producing revenue or income, usually expressed in weight.
- the number of paying passengers, as on an airplane.
- Aerospace, Military.
- the bomb load, warhead, cargo, or passengers of an aircraft, a rocket, missile, etc., for delivery at a target or destination.
- the total complement of equipment carried by a spacecraft for the performance of a particular mission in space.
- the explosive energy of the warhead of a missile or of the bomb load of an aircraft: a payload of 50 megatons.
- that part of a cargo earning revenue
- the passengers, cargo, or bombs carried by an aircraft
- the equipment carried by a rocket, satellite, or spacecraft
- the explosive power of a warhead, bomb, etc, carried by a missile or aircrafta missile carrying a 50-megaton payload
n.also pay-load, 1917, from pay + load (n.). Originally the part of a truck’s (later an aircraft’s) load from which revenue is derived (passengers, cargo, mail); figurative sense of “bombs, etc. carried by a plane or missile” is from 1936.